ES2645537T3 - Method to configure the remote control functionality of a portable device - Google Patents

Method to configure the remote control functionality of a portable device Download PDF

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Publication number
ES2645537T3
ES2645537T3 ES11870232.3T ES11870232T ES2645537T3 ES 2645537 T3 ES2645537 T3 ES 2645537T3 ES 11870232 T ES11870232 T ES 11870232T ES 2645537 T3 ES2645537 T3 ES 2645537T3
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Spain
Prior art keywords
device
data
apparatus
cec
method
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Active
Application number
ES11870232.3T
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Spanish (es)
Inventor
Paul D. Arling
Brian Barnett
Norman G. SHERIDAN
Patrick H. Hayes
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Universal Electronics Inc
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Universal Electronics Inc
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Publication date
Priority to US13/198,072 priority Critical patent/US8812629B2/en
Priority to US201113198072 priority
Application filed by Universal Electronics Inc filed Critical Universal Electronics Inc
Priority to PCT/US2011/058912 priority patent/WO2013019256A2/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of ES2645537T3 publication Critical patent/ES2645537T3/en
Application status is Active legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08CTRANSMISSION SYSTEMS FOR MEASURED VALUES, CONTROL OR SIMILAR SIGNALS
    • G08C17/00Arrangements for transmitting signals characterised by the use of a wireless electrical link
    • G08C17/02Arrangements for transmitting signals characterised by the use of a wireless electrical link using a radio link
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F16/00Information retrieval; Database structures therefor; File system structures therefor
    • G06F16/20Information retrieval; Database structures therefor; File system structures therefor of structured data, e.g. relational data
    • G06F16/24Querying
    • G06F16/245Query processing
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08CTRANSMISSION SYSTEMS FOR MEASURED VALUES, CONTROL OR SIMILAR SIGNALS
    • G08C19/00Electric signal transmission systems
    • G08C19/16Electric signal transmission systems in which transmission is by pulses
    • G08C19/28Electric signal transmission systems in which transmission is by pulses using pulse code
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08CTRANSMISSION SYSTEMS FOR MEASURED VALUES, CONTROL OR SIMILAR SIGNALS
    • G08C23/00Non-electrical signal transmission systems, e.g. optical systems
    • G08C23/04Non-electrical signal transmission systems, e.g. optical systems using light waves, e.g. infra-red
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/41Structure of client; Structure of client peripherals
    • H04N21/422Input-only peripherals, i.e. input devices connected to specially adapted client devices, e.g. global positioning system [GPS]
    • H04N21/42204User interfaces specially adapted for controlling a client device through a remote control device; Remote control devices therefor
    • H04N21/42226Reprogrammable remote control devices
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/442Monitoring of processes or resources, e.g. detecting the failure of a recording device, monitoring the downstream bandwidth, the number of times a movie has been viewed, the storage space available from the internal hard disk
    • H04N21/44227Monitoring of local network, e.g. connection or bandwidth variations; Detecting new devices in the local network
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08CTRANSMISSION SYSTEMS FOR MEASURED VALUES, CONTROL OR SIMILAR SIGNALS
    • G08C2201/00Transmission systems of control signals via wireless link
    • G08C2201/20Binding and programming of remote control devices
    • G08C2201/21Programming remote control devices via third means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08CTRANSMISSION SYSTEMS FOR MEASURED VALUES, CONTROL OR SIMILAR SIGNALS
    • G08C2201/00Transmission systems of control signals via wireless link
    • G08C2201/40Remote control systems using repeaters, converters, gateways
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08CTRANSMISSION SYSTEMS FOR MEASURED VALUES, CONTROL OR SIMILAR SIGNALS
    • G08C2201/00Transmission systems of control signals via wireless link
    • G08C2201/90Additional features
    • G08C2201/92Universal remote control
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08CTRANSMISSION SYSTEMS FOR MEASURED VALUES, CONTROL OR SIMILAR SIGNALS
    • G08C2201/00Transmission systems of control signals via wireless link
    • G08C2201/90Additional features
    • G08C2201/93Remote control using other portable devices, e.g. mobile phone, PDA, laptop
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/41Structure of client; Structure of client peripherals
    • H04N21/422Input-only peripherals, i.e. input devices connected to specially adapted client devices, e.g. global positioning system [GPS]
    • H04N21/42204User interfaces specially adapted for controlling a client device through a remote control device; Remote control devices therefor
    • H04N21/42206User interfaces specially adapted for controlling a client device through a remote control device; Remote control devices therefor characterized by hardware details
    • H04N21/42225User interfaces specially adapted for controlling a client device through a remote control device; Remote control devices therefor characterized by hardware details characterized by types of remote control, e.g. universal remote control
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/41Structure of client; Structure of client peripherals
    • H04N21/426Characteristics of or Internal components of the client
    • H04N21/42684Client identification by a unique number or address, e.g. serial number, MAC address, socket ID
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/60Network structure or processes for video distribution between server and client or between remote clients; Control signalling between clients, server and network components; Transmission of management data between server and client, e.g. sending from server to client commands for recording incoming content stream; Communication details between server and client 
    • H04N21/65Transmission of management data between client and server
    • H04N21/658Transmission by the client directed to the server
    • H04N21/6581Reference data, e.g. a movie identifier for ordering a movie or a product identifier in a home shopping application

Abstract

A method for selecting a set of codes for use in the configuration of a portable device (100) to command functional operations of an apparatus (106), comprising: receiving on a server device (200) via a network identity, data recovered from the apparatus (106) through the use of a physical and logical interconnection (208) with reference to a standard; using the identity data on the server device (200) to identify, within a database (216) that has a plurality of device records (400), each of which is cross-referenced with a device (106 ), a subset of device records, from the plurality of device records (400), which has data in one or more record fields that match the identity data retrieved from the device (106); use information in the identified subset of apparatus records by the server device (200) to cause additional data to be obtained from the apparatus (106) by using the interconnection (208) with reference to the standard; use the additional data on the server (200) to identify, from the subset of device registers, a single device register, and use a code set identifier (412) associated with the identified device register to select, from of a plurality of code sets, a set of codes for use in the configuration of the portable device (100) to command functional operations of the apparatus (106).

Description

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DESCRIPTION

Method to configure the remote control functionality of a portable device Background

Personal communication, productivity and entertainment devices, such as tablets, smartphones, portable email devices, electronic books, portable consoles and / or game controllers, portable media players, etc. (all of them mentioned in the following as "smart devices"), are known to include functions such as graphical user interfaces on color touch screens, wireless Internet capability, support for auxiliary applications (sometimes referred to as "apps") such as, for example, calendars, email, maps and navigation, etc. Such auxiliary applications may be pre-installed on a smart device or may be available for download by a user. Some of these apps may include the ability to issue commands for entertainment devices and other types, for example along with a GUI that offers the functions and functionality of a universal remote control as known in the state of the art, along with a TV guide viewer to allow the selection of a channel, etc. Typically, such remote control apps may be provided with a library of command data and protocols suitable for controlling a plurality of devices of different types and / or manufacturing (what is known as a "universal remote control"). Said command library and the hardware necessary to transmit operational commands to the devices, may be incorporated into, or available for, the smart device itself, or may take the form of a separate external device that communicates with the smart device ( that is, a retransmission device or what is known as a "blaster"). However, after the initial installation or subsequent replacement of a controlled device, such universal remote control apps must generally be configured to match each particular device that is to be controlled with an appropriate set of command data and with a protocol the bookstore. Convenient and easy-to-use methods for carrying out such a configuration process are disclosed in the report.

Document US-A-2008/231762 refers to the configuration of a remote control device for a system in which High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connections between a digital television and digital audio / visualization devices are provided. The digital television can receive device information from the connected audio / visualization devices, such as device identity information or remote control functions for the device. Digital television uses the device information to access a database or server system to obtain control information. Control information is provided to the remote control device for the selection of configurations by a user.

Document US-A-2004/070491 refers to a system and method for using an RFID tag to automatically establish and configure a universal remote control to command devices of various types and various manufacturers.

Summary of the invention

The present invention provides a method for selecting a set of codes for use in the configuration of a portable device to command functional operations of an apparatus as defined in the attached claim 1.

This invention relates in general to remote control systems and, more particularly, to a system and method to facilitate the establishment and configuration of a portable device, for example an intelligent device that can incorporate universal remote control functionality, to command the operation of one or more types of remotely controllable devices of one or more manufacturers. Examples of smart devices include, but are not limited to, Apple's "iPhone" and "iPad", Google's "Android" platform, Nintendo's "Wii U" controller, "Torch" or "BlackBerry PlayBook", etc. Examples of types of devices include, but are not limited to, televisions, digital video disc players (DVDs), cable or satellite decoders (STBs), digital video recorders (DVRs), audio and video (AV receivers) ), thermostats, game consoles, lighting systems, etc.

In order to quickly and conveniently configure a smart device app and the associated command library to match the devices to be controlled, in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, the smart device can be temporarily connected to an apparatus to ascertain the identity of the apparatus and thereby determine appropriate command data and protocols for the control of that apparatus. When said device is in communication with other remotely controllable devices to be part of a local entertainment and / or an environmental system, the identities of those other devices can also be determined by the smart device, using the connected device as an agent. Additionally, in some embodiments, the configuration information related to said local system may be communicated to the smart device by the agent apparatus for use in the creation of activity macros; for use in the location of labels and menus displayed in the smart app; etc. Such information may comprise, by way of example, data in relation to which multimedia source devices are connected to which input ports of a rendering device such as a TV monitor or an AV receiver, thereby facilitating the creation of

smart device scripts previously configured for use in the initiation of activities such as "Watch TV", "Listen to Music"; language and menu settings of the connected device (s); etc.

In an example of preferred embodiment, the physical and logical interconnection between the smart device and an apparatus, and between devices, can be in accordance with the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) specification, and the device identities can be deduced at from, inter alia, Electronic Consumer Control (CEC) or Expanded Display Identification (EDID) data, recoverable from devices in accordance with that specification, and / or from information frames of Source Product Description ( SPD) included in a source video digital video stream in accordance with the CEA-861 specification of the Consumer Electronics Association. However, it will be appreciated that other interconnection methods and / or protocols may be used for the same purposes, such as, for example, but not limited to, USB, IEE 1394 "Firewire", UPnP, CEbus, etc., when appropriate for a particular realization

A better understanding of the objects, advantages, characteristics, properties and relationships of the invention could be obtained from the detailed description that follows and the accompanying drawings, in which 15 illustrative embodiments are defined and are indicative of the various ways in which the principles of the invention can be used.

Brief description of the drawings

For a better understanding of the various aspects of the invention, reference may be made to preferred embodiments shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:

20 Figures 1a and 1b illustrate examples of systems in which an intelligent device app configured in accordance with the present invention can be used;

Figure 2 illustrates examples of interconnections that can be used during the configuration of the smart device (s) of Figure 1;

Figure 3 illustrates a series of steps that can be carried out by an intelligent device during an HDMI-based enabled process; Y,

Figure 4 illustrates an example of device identity database registration that can be used in the configuration of an app of a smart device according to the present invention.

Detailed description

By way of example, Figures 1a and 1b illustrate examples of systems 102 and 104 where an intelligent device 30 100 may be adapted to issue commands to controllable devices such as a TV 106, a decoder

(STB) 108, a DVD player 110, etc. Although it has been illustrated in a context of a home entertainment system comprising a set of a TV, an STB and a DVD player, it should be understood that controllable devices may include, without any limitation, televisions, VCRs, DVRs, DVD players, cable or satellite converters (“STBs”), amplifiers, AV receivers, 35 CD players, game consoles, home lighting, curtains, fans, HVAC systems, thermostats, personal computers, etc. In the illustrative example of Figure 1a, an intelligent device 100 may include both a universal remote control app and the hardware necessary to enable direct transmission of commands to devices 106 to 110. The commands for the device may be issued in the form of infrared signals 112 as illustrated, or in any other suitable format, for example, by an RF signal

40 as contemplated in RF4CE, Zwave, Bluetooth, etc .; an ultrasonic signal; visible light, etc., as

appropriate for the control of each particular device. In the example of Figure 1a, these command signals can be issued directly by the smart device 102 using, for example, the technology described in the publication of the patent application US-A-2012/0231837. In an alternative embodiment illustrated in Figure 1b, the commands 112 of the apparatus can be issued directly through a relay device 114 that acts in response to wireless communications 116 received from the resident universal remote control app

in the smart device 100, for example as described in the publication of U.S. Patent application.

num. US-A- 2012/0242526.

In any case, the remote control app and / or the associated retransmission device must be provided with the specific command data and a protocol (“code set”) to which each of the devices 50 to be responded controlled. As is known in the state of the art, it may take the form of a pointer or index in a library of code sets previously stored locally in the memory of the smart device 100 or the relay device 114; sets of individual codes downloaded to those devices during a configuration process; an item-by-item download of individual command codes on the basis as needed from a library stored locally on a PC or on a device such as STB 108 or TV 106, or remotely stored on a header server or Internet accessible, etc. In spite of everything, since the methods described herein for carrying out the identification of suitable code sets for controlled devices can be applied in general without

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taking into account the exact mechanisms by which said code sets are finally provided, it should be understood that the embodiment described in the following is only an example, and that the techniques presented may belong, mutatis mutandis, to any of the various possible configurations of the team and the code library.

With reference to Figure 2, in an exemplary embodiment a remote control app resident in an intelligent device 100 can be paired with the devices to be controlled, for example a TV set 106 and / or a cable STB 108 and a DVD player 110 temporarily connecting an HDMI 206 port of smart device 100 to an available HDMI 210 port of an apparatus to be controlled, for example, TV 106 in the illustrative example, by means of a cable 208 HDMI compatible. Once the connection has been established, the remote app of the smart device 100 can be arranged in a configuration mode in which mode the app can request device identification data from the TV 106 such as, for example, a manufacturer ID of CEC and / or an EDID manufacturer number and a product code. In a preferred embodiment, the data thus obtained can be loaded from the smart device on a server 200 through, for example, a WiFi connection 204 on the Internet 202. The server 200 may include a database 216 that crosses data references of identity of the CEC and / or EDID device with sets of device command codes, whose database can be referenced to determine a set of command codes appropriate for the control of the apparatus 106 of the example. In alternative embodiments, the database in which the references of the sets of command codes of the apparatus are crossed with the data that are referenced in turn with respect to a standard, may be locally resident in the smart device itself; or it can be resident in an accessible device as part of a WiFi network such as for example a local PC or an STB. Not enough, once determined, the desired set of codes can then be provided to the remote control app of the smart device 100, in the form of a pointer or index in a local database; or in the form of a code set block downloaded from a code set database 218 stored on the server 200, etc., as appropriate.

Returning now to the flowchart shown in Figure 3, once an example of an intelligent device 100 has been attached to an apparatus using an HDMI 208 cable, in step 300 a configuration program can be initiated which is part of a remote control app installed on that smart device, for example from a configuration or a menu of configurations as is well known in the state of the art. In step 302, the configuration program can begin by issuing successive transmissions of <Polling Message> compatible with CEC (as defined in the HDMI specification and in the accompanying CEC supplement) to each of the possible addresses of Logic devices of specific type CEC. By way of explanation, the CEC protocol can support up to 16 possible values of logical addresses, with each value assigned to a particular type of device: for example, a TV device can only adopt a zero or 14 logical address; a playback device such as a DVD player can use only one of the logical addresses 4, 8 or 11; A tuning device can use only one of the logical addresses 3, 6, 7 or 10, etc. For the purpose of receiving answers to an interrogation, the initiation device (the intelligent device 100 in this example), according to a version of the CEC specification, can always adopt address 15. Although the intelligent device 100 is physically connected only to an HDMI 210 port on TV 106, the CEC protocol allows a device to act as a CEC Switch, that is, to transparently route CEC communications to / from devices connected to its other HDMI ports, such as STB 108 or DVD player 106 in the illustrative example. Therefore, in those cases where the functionality is supported by the host device to which the smart device is linked, the configuration program may be enabled to interrogate devices downstream.

If no response from the device to the interrogation messages issued in step 304 is detected, the configuration program proceeds to step 320 to allow manual configuration by a user of the app. If, on the contrary, one or more responses are detected, in step 306 a message of <Provide Device Vendor ID> of CEC is transmitted to the first logical response address value. According to the CEC protocol, the device to which this message is addressed can respond with a unique 24-bit vendor ID, whose number is assigned to CEC-compatible manufacturers by the IEEE in accordance with the standard. Upon receipt, at step 308, this seller's ID number, together with the CEC's logical address from which it originated (which is indicative of the type of device), can be forwarded by the configuration program to a code set identifier, for example a Web service resident on server 200.

Upon receipt of a response from the code set identifier service, in steps 310 and 312 the configuration program can determine whether the response constitutes a positive identification of a set of codes for use in issuing commands to the device. indicated, or if it includes a request for additional information through a disambiguation. If this is not the case, it assumes that the identifier service has failed to identify a suitable set of codes, and the configuration program proceeds to step 318 to determine if there are any additional devices that need to be identified. If the response received comprises a request for additional disambiguation information, such information may be retrieved in step 316 and forwarded to the code set identification service for further processing. By way of example, without limitation, such requests for disambiguation data may be for Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) as specified by the Standards Association

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Video Electrical (VESA), recoverable from display devices through the HDMI interface, and which may include, for example, data fields corresponding to a manufacturer ID assigned by Microsoft and / or an assigned product code by the manufacturer; for a response to a request by CEC of <Get Menu Language> (which may be indicative of a territory / market in which the device is currently installed); for responses to CEC requests of <Provide OSD Name> or <Get version of CEC>; for retrieving SPD data corresponding to an HDMI input port of the host device (for example, TV 106 of the illustrative example) where such recovery is supported by the host device, etc., as appropriate for an embodiment or an apparatus particular. By way of explanation, in relation to SPD data, the CEA-861B standard of CEA specifies that a digital video source can optionally insert a periodic frame of Source Product Description information into its output video stream. This "InfoFrame" may comprise a seven-byte ASCII vendor name, a sixteen-byte ASCII product description such as a model number, and an identifier of the one-byte binary product type (for example, 01 h is an STB digital, 02h is a DVD player, 05h is a digital video camera, etc.). Playback devices, such as TV 106, can optionally decode this data and use it to increase on-screen menu displays, etc.

Alternatively, or in addition to the foregoing, since CEC-compatible devices are needed to issue a <Disrupt Functions> response for any message related to an unsupported function, in some embodiments a code set identification service may require that initiate certain CEC transmissions for a device and that the resulting response (s) be recorded (s), to allow an exact identification of a device by verifying its support for certain functions (or lack thereof).

If it is determined in step 310 that the response received is indicative of the identity of a set of control codes of the apparatus, then in step 314 the remote control app of the smart device 100 can be properly configured. As is known in the state of the art, such a configuration may take the form of storing a pointer for, or an index in, a local library previously loaded in command code sets, the provision of the required code set as a download of data from a server based on the code set library 218, etc., as appropriate for a particular embodiment. Once the configuration has been completed, in step 318 the configuration program then determines if there are additional devices left to be identified. If so, the process returns to step 306 to repeat the previous identification process for the next device. Once all the devices that responded to the polling request of step 302 have been subjected to the identification process, the configuration continues in step 320, where an additional user input can be requested as necessary. Such user input may comprise, for example, the provision of explicit information of the model number and / or set numbers of codes, etc., to complete the identification and configuration of any device that has not responded to the request for CEC poll, which cannot be uniquely identified by the automated code set identification service, etc., after which the initial configuration of the smart device 100 remote control app is complete. Since various alternative methods for identifying sets of command codes of the apparatus are well known in the state of the art, for reasons of brevity these are not going to be discussed in greater detail herein.

Referring now to Figure 4, an example of realization of a device identification database 216 may comprise a group of records 400, one for each device identifiable in a different way, each record comprising a series of fields 402 to 436 ' as illustrated. In the example shown, each device register 400 may include a basic device identity 440 that may comprise data fields such as device type 402, mark 404, model number 406, serial number or date range 408, 410 ( where it is necessary to ensure a unique identification, for example when a manufacturer has changed a function of the device in the middle of the execution of a model) and the identifier 412 of a set of command codes of the device for use in the operation command of the apparatus. In some cases, 414 codes of the geographical or market region may also be part of the basic identity of the device. The information that comprises this basic identity of the apparatus can be used according to several prior art methods to configure control devices to command the operation of the apparatus, for example by matching a user equipped with a brand and a model number, printing lists of codes of configuration to be published in manuals, sequentially testing sets of codes corresponding to a particular type and brand of device (and sometimes the region), etc., all according to what is well known in the state of the art.

In addition to the above basic device identity data, an example of device identification database registration 400 according to the present invention may include additional fields 416 to 436 'comprising a second electronic identity 450 for the same apparatus. Such electronic identity may comprise a tabulation of data elements that can be requested electronically from the apparatus, for example through an HDMI 208 interconnection of the illustrative embodiment. This data may include, without limitation, a CEC 416 provider ID, a CEC 418 version, a CEC 420 OSD name, an EDID manufacturer ID 422, an EDID product code 424, a version number / revision of EDID 426, a supplier name of SPD 428, and a product description of SPD 430. In some embodiments, codes of geographic region 414 may also be part of an electronic device identity, set

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that these can be deductible from the responses of <Get Menu Language> from CEC. It should also be appreciated that, due to practices such as private labeling, supplier diversification, etc., the supplier / manufacturer ID fields and the name 416, 422 and 428 are not necessarily synonymous with each other or with the 404 mark field.

When it is necessary to ensure a unique identity for an apparatus, additional data fields may be part of an apparatus identity register 400. These may include, for example, additional parameters discernible from EDID 432 to 432 ', such as video formats and supported resolutions, timing data, etc., and / or CEC 434, 436 objective / response data fields. Such objective / response fields may comprise an electronic command or question 434 to be issued to an apparatus together with an expected response 436 to be returned by the apparatus. By way of example, without limitation, to distinguish between similar cable STBs that differ only in the presence or absence of a DVR option, a request to <Provide Coverage Status> of CEC may be issued pending that no STB response from DVR is a <Abort Function> message from CEC. In case it is necessary to ensure the precise identification of a particular device, multiple fields of objective / response data 434 ’, 436’ can be provided.

In the illustrative embodiment, with the exception of device type 402 and code set identifier 412, data fields that are not applicable or not available for a specific device can be set to "null". For example, the serial number range fields 408, 410 may not be necessary, or certain device types may not support EDID, etc.

In order to uniquely identify an apparatus, an illustrative apparatus identification service resident in, and / or associated with, a server 200, for example, implemented by means of instructions stored in a non-transient, computer-readable medium, accessible by part of the server 200, and that interacts with an example of an intelligent device configuration app that generally operates according to the logic previously described in relation to the flow chart of Figure 3, can receive an initial communication from the smart device 100 comprising a CEC vendor ID along with an indication of the type of device (for example, the CEC logical address from which the vendor ID was retrieved). The device identification service can apply these values as a mask to select only those records 400 of the database 216 that match the required criteria, that is, a match in field 402 with the type of device involved by the value of CEC logic address retrieved from a device and a pairing in field 416 with the CEC vendor ID retrieved from the device. It will be appreciated that in several embodiments, the data content of this initial communication may comprise other values, such as for example the name of an SPD provider and the product description, rather than, or in addition to, the values mentioned above. , in which case the selection mask can be adjusted properly. If only one match is found, the identification is complete and the corresponding code set identifier value of field 412 of that record can be returned to the configuration app resident on the smart device 100. If, on the contrary, multiple records meet the selection criteria, the device identification service can then examine the contents of those records to determine the data field of the remaining subset that shows the greatest diversity. Once the determination has been made, a request for recovery of that data item from the device to the configuration app resident on the smart device 100 can be forwarded. When the requested data item is returned by the app, it item can be added to the selection mask and the repeated selection process. In case a requested item is not available, for example the current host device does not support SpD decoding and SPD data has been requested, the smart device configuration app may respond negatively, in which case the currently required item it can be removed from the device identification pairing process and a new request for an alternative data element is sent. These steps can be iterated until there is a single database record and its code set identifier 412 can be communicated to the configuration app, or no other selection criteria are available, that is, each field 414 a 436 'has been used or has been found to contain a null value, in which case a fault can be communicated to the smart device configuration app, allowing it to initiate a user message that suggests that an alternative configuration method be used.

Once the sets of command codes necessary for the control of a user's device have been fully provisioned, in certain embodiments a smart device remote control app, in accordance with the present invention, may be subjected to additional customization while in physical communication with the controlled devices through the example of HDMI connection. In one embodiment, the response (s) to a request of <Get CEC Menu Language> can be used to adjust the menus, key tags, etc., of the control app remote to match those in use by controlled devices. Conversely, after the request of the consumer of the language in which the smart device is currently regionalized, it can be transported to the controlled devices by means of a request to <Set CEC Menu Language>, thereby adapting the displays of the device to that match the preferred user settings of the smart device.

In cases where an apparatus such as a TV 106, is adapted to carry out the above-mentioned CEC switching function, and is equipped to withstand such interrogation, that apparatus may be requested.

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switching indicating which of its physical HDMI ports (for example, 210 to 214) are associated with which of the CEC logical addresses downstream (for example, STB 108, DVD player 110, etc.). The data thus acquired can then be used by a smart device remote control app to configure activity macros, for example, without limitation, "Watch TV" or "Watch a movie", so that a command will be automatically issued to select the appropriate HDMI input on TV 106 when the activity starts. Such macro configuration may be completely automatic, or it may require user input. For example, when multiple multimedia playback devices are detected in a configuration (for example, a DVD player and a Vudu video stream on demand), a user can be asked to select the application to be used for a “Watch movie” activity (it should be understood that in case such as this one, multiple “Watch movie” activities can also be configured). To facilitate the user identification of the desired device, the request may include the self-provided identities of the recovered devices using CEC <Get OSD Name> requests, brand names and / or model numbers of the device provided by a service code set identification, TV input port numbers, or any combination thereof, as appropriate.

While several concepts have been described in detail, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications and alternatives to those concepts could be introduced in view of the global teachings of the description. For example, while the configuration of the illustrative equipment presented above uses a television set as an HDMI interconnection focal point and host device for connecting an intelligent device, it will be appreciated that in alternative configurations, another device such as a receiver for AV, a decoder, a PC, etc., can serve equally well as a focal point and host device to which a smart device can be temporarily connected for configuration purposes. In addition, in those cases where no device of the configuration is capable of supporting CEC switching functionality, it will also be appreciated that an intelligent device according to the invention can nevertheless be individually connected to multiple devices in sequence in order to carry carry out an electronically enabled configuration. It will also be appreciated that in certain embodiments, for reasons of efficiency, multiple items of device identification data can be accumulated and forwarded jointly to a device identification service as a single transaction, rather than in the form of stage by stage, such as It has been described previously. Additionally, while the use of an HDMI connection, CEC protocol and EDF and SPD InfoFrame data values has been illustrated, it will be appreciated that various other connectivity methods and accumulation of device identification data can be equally adaptable to the purposes described herein; the standards may evolve or be modified to support additional functions, etc., and that consequently, the contents of the examples of device identification database presented herein are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be an exhaustive tabulation of all possible identification data points or parameters that are, or may be, available for use by the apparatus identification methods described herein.

Although described in the context of functional modules and illustrated using block diagram and / or flowchart formats, it should be understood that, unless otherwise indicated, one or more of the functions and / or features described they can be integrated into a single physical device and / or a software module, or one or more functions and / or features can be implemented in separate physical devices or software modules. It will also be appreciated that a detailed discussion of the actual implementation of each module is not necessary to facilitate the understanding of the invention. Instead, the actual implementation of such modules falls within the routine experience of an engineer, given the disclosure in the present memory of the attributes, functionality and inter-relationship of the various functional modules in the system. Therefore, an expert in the field, applying ordinary knowledge, will be able to put into practice the invention defined in the claims without undue experimentation. It will be further appreciated that the particular concepts disclosed are understood to be only illustrative and not limiting since the scope of the invention is given by the full scope of the appended claims and by any equivalents thereof.

Claims (13)

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    1. - A method for selecting a set of codes for use in the configuration of a portable device (100) to command functional operations of an apparatus (106), comprising:
    receive on a server device (200) through a network identity, data recovered from the apparatus (106) through the use of a physical and logical interconnection (208) with reference to a standard;
    using the identity data on the server device (200) to identify, within a database (216) that has a plurality of device records (400), each of which is cross-referenced with a device (106 ), a subset of device records, from the plurality of device records (400), which has data in one or more record fields that match the identity data retrieved from the device (106);
    use information in the identified subset of device records by the server device (200) to cause additional data to be obtained from the device (106) by using the interconnection (208) with reference to the standard;
    use the additional data on the server (200) to identify, from the subset of device registers, a single device register, and
    using a code set identifier (412) associated with the identified device register to select, from a plurality of code sets, a set of codes for use in the configuration of the portable device (100) to command functional operations of the apparatus (106).
  2. 2. - The method as defined in claim 1, wherein the identity data and additional data are received on the server device (200) from the portable device (100) through the network.
  3. 3. - The method as defined in claim 2, wherein the physical and logical interconnection (208) referenced in a standard, is used to arrange the portable device (100) and the apparatus (106) in direct communication.
  4. 4. - The method as defined in claim 1, wherein the selected code set is pre-stored in a memory of the portable device (100).
  5. 5. - The method as defined in claim 1, wherein the selected code set is downloaded to the portable device (100) through the network.
  6. 6. - The method according to claim 1, wherein the interconnection (208) is referenced with the High Definition Multimedia Interface specification.
  7. 7. - The method as defined in claim 1, wherein the identity data comprises at least data indicative of an ID (416) of the CEC seller of Electronic Consumer Control, and a logical address of CEC.
  8. 8. - The method as defined in claim 7, wherein the additional data obtained from the apparatus (106) comprise at least one or more of an ID (422) of the EDID manufacturer of Extended Display Identification Data, an EDID product ID (424), and an EDID version number (426).
  9. 9. - The method according to claim 7, wherein the additional data obtained from the apparatus (106) comprise at least data indicative of an EDID parameter (432) of Extended Display Identification Data.
  10. 10. - The method according to claim 7, wherein the additional data obtained from the apparatus (106) comprise at least indicative data of one or more of a Name (428) of the SPD Seller of Source Product Description and a description (430) of the SPD product.
  11. 11. - The method according to claim 7, wherein the additional data obtained from the apparatus (106) comprise at least data indicative of an apparatus response to a CEC challenge.
  12. 12. - The method as defined in claim 1, wherein the identity data comprises at least data indicative of an ID (416) of the CEC seller of Electronic Consumer Control and a logical CEC address.
  13. 13. - The method as defined in claim 1, wherein at least one of an ID (416) of the CEC Consumer Electronic Control seller, a CEC logical address, a CEC name, an ID (422 ) of the EDID manufacturer of Extended Display Identification Data, an EDID product ID (424), an EDID version number (426), a Name (428) of the Source Product Description SPD Seller, and a SPD product description (430), are used to identify the device register.
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US20140222861A1 (en) 2014-08-07
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US8812629B2 (en) 2014-08-19
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US20150279206A1 (en) 2015-10-01
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US9087100B2 (en) 2015-07-21
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